South Florida #2: A Busy Day!

Isaac Bakare ’24 and Andy Chen ’25, recount a busy day. The days activities included: volunteering at an urban farm, learning about climate change, exploring the Frost Museum of Science, and some night swimming!

On our second day in Miami, the city continued to fill us with awe. As we rode on the bus, we saw art with the most astonishing detail adorning every wall in the art district. Our first activity of the day was to help clear out a garden for an organization called Urban GreenWorks. Urban GreenWorks focuses on urban farming and takes a holistic approach towards solving issues surrounding food scarcity. It is run by a man named Roger, who can tell you everything you could ever wonder about plants and the benefits they offer our bodies. The yield from the gardens goes back to the local community and thus reduces their consumption of products that come from large corporations and overseas sellers. We split into groups that each took on different tasks and by the end we could see the drastic change we’d helped create. We also got some help along the way from Ms. Robinson, who showed us how to use some of the gardening tools. We then went to the Vegan Marie to get lunch. The Vegan Marie receives some of the produce that gets harvested from Urban GreenWorks, so we got to taste some of the food from the garden we’d helped clear.

We then made our way to the Cleo Institute, where we met four brilliant people who gave us a presentation on climate change and the issues surrounding it. We learned about the urban heat island effect and how it resulted in concrete cities feeling the effects of rising temperatures more than other places. One of our greatest takeaways was that issues of social and racial injustice are at the root of the climate crisis, and that to solve the climate crisis we must target these issues as well. They also shared ways that we could contribute to solving the climate crisis as the generation that will feel the true brunt of it. We had time to ask a few questions, and we received insightful answers on the steps we could take to help our communities become part of the solution to the climate crisis.

Our final activity for the day was our visit to the Frost Museum. We spread out through the first floor and came together to talk about the questions we found most intriguing throughout. We then split into groups to investigate each floor of the museum. The museum was filled with exhibits that sparked curiosity in all the subjects that were featured. We had an in-house expert in Thomas, who listed off the name of every fish we saw. We entered a room dedicated to flight throughout human history and folded a few paper planes. We watched them soar across the room. We regrouped with everyone else to head off to dinner at La Latina. This was our second time at the restaurant and we all tried something new. We played a game of cards while we waited for our food and re-established that we’re all terrible liars. When our food arrived, we were reminded of why we’d fallen in love with La Latina’s food. The combination of contrasting flavors left us excited for every bite and disappointed when there were none left to take.

We returned to the hotel for one of our daily debriefs. We spoke about the observations we’d made earlier at the Frost Museum and tied them into the other activities we’d done throughout the day. We had some free time before we had to check-in for the night, so we went to the pool and (most of us) swam around till then. We all went back up to our rooms and got packed to leave for the Everglades the next morning.

Check out for more pictures of the South Florida trip!